Utah Bill Creates Tiered Licensure. Protect Massage Therapy Standards in Utah—March Update

Update: March 21, 2022:
Senate Bill 180 was not signed into law because the house did not send the senate the correct bill copy to vote on. There is a possibility this bill will be reintroduced in the interim session beginning in May 2022. ABMP will keep members updated as we learn more.

Update: March 2, 2022:
Senate Bill 180, which would create a second tier of massage therapy that only requires 150 supervised and 150 unsupervised training hours, is now in the house. There are only three days left in the Utah legislature, which means there are three days left to kill the bill.

This is the time to act—ABMP urges you to find and phone your representative as a constituent. Below is a list of targeted representatives we need to reach to persuade and stop this bill. When you talk to your representative, make sure to share with them why SB 180 would negatively affect your practice and public safety. We encourage you to only call someone who is your representative.

  • Target representatives:
  • James Dunnigan: 801-840-1800
  • Joel Ferry: 801-726-4032
  • Jefferson Moss: 385-250-6738
  • Jon Hawkins: 801-769-0975
  • Marsha Judkins: 801-669-6962
  • Raymond Ward: 801-440-8765
  • Steve Waldrip: 801-389-9329

Update: February 15, 2022, 12:30 p.m. MST
The current version of Senate Bill 180 is being held and the sponsor is working on new bill language. ABMP will keep you updated as we learn more.

Senate Bill 180 (SB 180) was introduced this legislative session and, in its current form, will create a tiered licensing structure for massage therapists: Licensed Massage Therapists (LMTs) and a second tier of Certified Massage Practitioners (CMPs) who practice limited massage therapy.
ABMP is opposed to SB 180 as is. All one would have to do to become a CMP is submit an application, be 18 years old, and promise to work under a licensed massage therapist who has three years and 3,000 hours of practice—there are no education requirements for becoming a CMP. In addition, the scope of practice is larger for CMPs than LMTs in the current bill version. We oppose the proposed tiered licensing.
SB 180 is being hurriedly pushed through the senate. It had a quick hearing in committee, with no notice, on Thursday, February 9, 2022, and made it through second reading yesterday with a third reading scheduled for today.
The bill sponsor, Senator Bramble, indicated the current version of the bill is being revised, yet the senate continues to move forward with no revised bill to discuss, as they don’t want to discuss the bill currently on record. Background: a bill is introduced and referred to committee. The committee passes the bill or kills it. If passed, it goes back to the senate floor for a second and third vote. The Utah Senate did all this in four business days.
ABMP urges you to contact your senator’s office by 1:00 p.m. MST today. You can find your senator and their phone number here.
When you have your senator on the phone, talk about how this bill will negatively impact the massage therapy profession and your business. Here are some key talking points you can share:

  • SB 180 raises public health issues because massage therapy is regulated and licensure provides assurance to the public by setting minimal educational qualifications and competencies for safe entry-level practitioners.
  •  This bill, in its current version, creates a tier of practice that provides a similar scope of practice that LMTs have, but increases the scope for certified massage practitioners.
  •  Allows CMPs to get certification by filling out an application and working under an LMT who has been working for three years and has 3,000 hours of experience.
  •  The bill would allow supervision by physicians, osteopathic physicians, acupuncturists, or physical therapists, none of whom should supervise CMPs, as they don’t have the full knowledge of a massage therapist’s job, nor do they have three years or 3,000 hours of experience as an LMT.

The third reading on SB 180 is this afternoon. Please contact your senator’s office and encourage them to stall third reading or vote no.